Anesthesia Care Team Have you ever had your tonsils or wisdom teeth taken out? There is a whole Anesthesia Care Team that puts you to “sleep” for these and other surgical procedures.
The anesthesia care team, consisting of the Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) as the primary provider and the anesthesiologist as the perioperative physician, provides the complete components of quality assurance to all consumers of anesthesia services.
According to Edward Sanders, MD, and Ruth Long, CRNA, who have worked as part of as an Anesthesia Care Team for many years, the Anesthesia Care Team is proven to be the most cost effective, safe and efficient delivery system at every step from patient to payer. A CRNA is an advanced practice Registered Nurse (RN) who has advanced education in the specialty of anesthesia. They take care of the patient’s anesthesia requirements before, during and after surgery. CRNAs can practice in an Anesthesia Care Team with an anesthesiologist, or they may practice without one. CRNAs keep a constant watch on the patient during surgery. They monitor the patient’s response and recovery from anesthesia. They select the best drugs and anesthesia techniques to provide an optimum anesthetic. They are the patient’s advocate during the anesthesia process and keep the patient safe. An anesthesiologist is a medical doctor who has advanced training in the specialty of anesthesia.
Anesthesiologists deliver anesthesia in all states in the United States. The anesthesiologist makes all the medical decisions in the perioperative period. He or she is available to consult with the CRNA as part of the Anesthesia Care Team. The anesthesiologist may also choose to practice alone.
From A CRNA & Anesthesiologist:
“I enjoy working as a member of a team to accomplish excellence and good patient outcomes,” says Ruth Long, CRNA for Durham Anesthesia Associates and Durham Regional Hospital. “In addition, I continue to learn something new everyday and that is exciting.” “Being an anesthesiologist is a profession that demands continuing education and great technical skill, and that keeps me challenged and excited each day,” says Edward G. Sanders, MD, anesthesiologist.
CRNAs must obtain a bachelor of science degree in Nursing with at least one year of critical care nursing. They must take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) and complete 24 to 36 months in a school of Nurse Anesthesia accredited by the Council on Accreditation of the America Association of Nurse Anesthetist. To practice as a CRNA, a person must pass a National Certification exam in Anesthesia and recertify every two years through continuing education. It takes on average eight to nine years to become a CRNA. Anesthesiologists must have four years of undergraduate studies in pre-med, four years in medical school and four years of Anesthesia Residency. They must pass the national certification exam in Anesthesia and recertify every 10 years. Fifty hours of continuing education is required yearly.
The average salary for a CRNA ranges from $100,000 to $160,000 per year, depending on the organization and years of experience. The average salary of an anesthesiologist ranges from $125,000 to $400,000 per year, depending on the organization and years of experience.